1 Saint John Chrysostom Author of the Divine Liturgy Mosaic, Hagia Sophia Constantinople November 2008 Volume XXI Issue IX Published ten times a year
2 ECUMENICAL PATRIARCHATE His All Holiness, Bartholomew, Patriarch of Constantinople GREEK ORTHODOX ARCHDIOCESE of AMERICA His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios GREEK ORTHODOX METROPOLIS of DETROIT His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas SAINT NICHOLAS GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH Proistamenos Rev. Father Nicolaos H. Kotsis 3109 Scio Church Road, Ann Arbor, Michigan Phone: 734/ Fax: 734/ Web: Father Nick - home phone: 734/ cell: 734/ SUNDAY CHURCH SERVICES Orthros: 9:00 am Divine Liturgy: 10:00 am Church School: Following Communion 2007 PARISH COUNCIL Meets every 2 nd Thursday of the month, 7:00pm OFFICERS President Christopher A. Bekiares Vice President George Kokales Secretary Robert J. Ashley, Jr. Treasurer Christos Philippou Ass t Treasurer Vasilios Pliakas Controller Patricia R. Douglas MEMBERS Penelope Bekiares Nicholas Chapekis, Jr. Jack Fry George Nikolaos Michos Chris Kerry Costas Kleanthous Department Staff Head Contact Church Department Zannis Res Protopsaltis (First Cantor) George Smyrnis Cantor Dani Nadra Altar Boys (Acolytes) Dr. Jon Wardner: Director Church Music Ministry Anna Chapekis Youth Choir Dr. Theo Polley / Alex Kales Men s Choir Panagiotis Hasiakos, Father Nicolaos Byzantine Music Margaret Yates: President Philoptochos Penny Bekiares, Diane Geczi, Joan Raphael Saint Nicholas Seniors Susie Pagalos: Director Church School Anastasia Mitropoulos-Rundus: President G.O.Y.A. Christina Vlahopoulos: Advisor J.O.Y. Vasilia Tsilimingras, Sophia Grias-Radwanski : H.O.P.E. Directors Saint Nicholas Parish Bookstore Chris Bekiaris Young Adult League (YAL) Robert Ashley Y.E.R.A.C. Chris Kerry: Council Chairperson Greek School Program Ioanna Ioannou: Principal Greek School PTO Gail Altenburg-Roumel: President Hellenic: AHEPA Costas Boutsikakis: President Hellenic: Daughter s of Penelope Perry Katsikas: President Hellenic: Maids of Athena U-M Hellenic Association (Maxi Roumanis) Hellenic Student Association U-M Campus Student Organization Orthodox Christian Fellowship U-M Campus Ministry Children & Youth EnrichmentComm. Sam Roumanis, Dr. Anthony Kales The Compass Editors Vasilios Pliakas, Father Nicolaos The Compass P. Profiles Helen Garris The Compass Final Copy Maria Papaefthymiou CHURCH OFFICE HOURS Church Office Secretary: Kate Hazelton Mon. Fri.: 9am 3 pm Church Office Telephone: 734/ Church Office Fax: 734/ Regular Meeting Dates/Times Every Sunday Every Sunday Every Sunday Every Wedensday, 7:00 to 8:45pm 1st & 3rd Wednesdays, 6:30 to 7:45pm TBA Every Wednesday, 8-9 pm 2 nd Wednesday of the month, 7:30 pm 1 st Tuesday of the month, 12:30 pm 3 rd Monday of the month, 7:30 pm 2nd Sunday, 5:00pm, check calendar check calendar TBA Every Sunday Monthly, check: 1 st Thursday of the month, 7:00 pm Monday through Thursday, 4:30 pm Saturdays TBA, 8:30 am 3 rd Wednesday of the month, 7:00 pm 3 rd Wednesday of the month, 7:30 pm TBA Every Thursday, 9:00 pm Every Wednesday, 8:00 pm TBA Submissions by the 10th of every month Submissions by the 10th of every month
3 CONTENTS n S ) : n ) m : 0 : 1 Father Nick: Iconography 5 Chris Bekiares: how we can help 6-7 Salvation Army Bells 7 The Divine Liturgy: Living Theology 8-10 Seniors 11 The Div. Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom Church School 14 Parish Profiles: Anna Chapekis 15 Philoptochos 16 Saint Nicholas Dance 17 Youth Programs 18 N. Stamos s Address at AHEPA OXI Celebration Financial 21, 24 Walk the Walk, part 1 of series on Integrity 25 NOVEMBER CALENDAR Stewardship GOYA 29 Yassou Golf Outing Vesper Visits 31 Nikiforos Vretakos:Poems On Language 32 Best advice ever received by 33 Vesper Visitations 34 SCRIP 35 Advertisement Policy Changes 36 Compass editorial policy 39 SPONSORS 37-44
4 Page 4 A Message from Fr. Nicolaos H. Kotsis Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ, When we pray, and I hope we all do often, what response can we possibly give to God for all that He has done for us? Give thanks! Give thanks that the ineffable hands of God, which formed and molded us, and which still hold us closely to Him. Give thanks to God because He loves each and every one of us so much that He sent His only Son to heal, have mercy on, and save us. Give thanks to God for all the blessings we have received (write them down you ll need at least a few sheets of paper). Give thanks for a God Who will hear our prayers and Who will answer them in a time and matter He sees fit. Give thanks to God for the members of our St. Nicholas community; our family, friends, and neighbors who work so hard and give so much time and effort for the ministry and needs of the our parish. Give thanks to God for the food on our tables, clothes on our backs, and roofs over our heads. Give thanks to God for all those people who care for the poor, the sick, the suffering and the lonely. Give thanks to God for all those brave men and women who serve to protect our freedom and country. Give thanks to God for the air in our lungs that we may greet tomorrow s dawn. Give thanks to God that He helped us to keep our mouths shut when our instinct was to gossip or say something disparaging about our neighbor. Give thanks to God for the small miracles we see occurring every day. Give thanks to God for the opportunities given to us to help those in need. Give thanks to God for all those who taught us (in so many different ways). Give thanks to God for those who have prayed for us. Give thanks to God for all the hope He has given to us through His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ that through Him we may attain salvation and through Him all our needs shall be met. Give thanks, give thanks, give thanks. Have a blessed Thanksgiving! Fr. Nick
5 Thanksgiving is the Eucharist Page 5 "Liturgy" is a Greek word indicating, in general, public service. In the church language it signifies the Divine Service in which is offered the Body and Blood of Christ in the Sacrament of Communion or the Eucharist. "Eucharist" in Greek means "Thanksgiving." It is a New Testament Sacrament instituted by Christ before His passion. The Holy Apostles and Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke, thus in detail describe the institution of the Sacrament of the Eucharist in the Lord's Supper on Good Thursday: Mat. 26, 26-29; Mark 14, 22-24; Luke 22, Christ took the bread in His Holy hands and looking up to heaven, gave glory and thanks to the Father, broke it into parts and gave it to the disciples saying: "Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you". The disciples took the bread from His hands, and divided it among themselves. After, He took the cup of wine mixed with water, gave thanks to God the Father, and said to the disciples: "Drink ye all of it, for this is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for you and many for the remission of sins". And they all drank of it. After, He commanded them: "This do in remembrance of me". The Holy Apostles strictly fulfilled this command of Christ and celebrated the Sacrament of Communion. So also did the Bishops and Presbyters of the church which the Apostles founded and ordained, making use of an unwritten tradition. The Liturgy of Saint James (died 60) is the oldest complete form of the Divine Liturgy still in use among the Christian churches. It is based on the traditions of the ancient rite of the first Christians in Jerusalem, as the Mystagogic Catecheses of St Cyril of Jerusalem imply. Forming the historical basis of the Liturgy of Antioch, it is still the principal liturgy of the Syriac Orhtodox Church and in the Indian Orthodox Church. The Liturgy is associated with the name of James the Just, "brother" of Jesus and patriarch among the Jewish Christians at Jerusalem. Saint James was martyred at the hands of a mob incensed at his preaching about Jesus and his "transgression of the Law" - an accusation made by the High Priest of the Sanhedrin, Ananias. The historic Christian liturgies are divided between Eastern and Western usages. Among the Eastern liturgies, the Liturgy of Saint James is one of the Antiochene group of liturgies, those ascribed to Saint James, to Saint Basil, and to Saint John Chrysostom. Other Eastern liturgies include the Assyrian or Chaldean rites, as well as the Armenian and Maronite rites. The Byzantine liturgies attributed to Saint John Chrysostom and Saint Basil are the ones most widely used today by all Orthodox Christians in communion with Constantinople. St. Basil the Great, Archbishop of Caesarea of Cappadocia (died 379) on the basis of ancient church tradition, wrote the Divine Liturgy which now is celebrated 10 times a year by the Orthodox Church. St. John Chrysostom, Archbishop of Constantinopole (died 404) while not changing the essence of the Liturgy, shortened it, and in this form it is now celebrated in our churches on Sundays and week days throughout the year. St. Cyril translated the Liturgy from the original Greek into Slavonic, the language of the Russian Church, in the middle of the 9th century. We celebrate Saint John Chrysostom on November 13.
6 Page 6 A message from Parish Council President Dear Beloved Saint Nicholas Parishioners, Being a Christian involves many things. Coming to Church every Sunday, and sitting in the pews does not make one a Christian alone. This would be the equivalent of someone sitting in a garage and calling themselves a car. How can we help our Saint Nicholas Parish? BECOMING A MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING We are all aware for the need of stewardship to cover the basic needs of the Church: Priest and employees salaries, heating, cooling, electrical, snow-removal, office supplies, maintenance, etc But stewardship servers a more important role - Your Stewardship provides the foundation for our Parish Ministries and our efforts in meeting the formidable challenges of spreading Christ s Word and our Orthodox Faith. Without your contributions, our Church Ministries: Choir, Altar Boys, G.O.Y.A., J.O.Y., H.O.P.E., Y.A.L., Church and Greek Schools, Seniors Group, might not be able to exist. Money is a necessary tool for ministry. The Church's mission of salvation and evangelism depends directly on your generosity, which supports our Saint Nicholas Parish, Metropolis and Archdiocese. The Archdiocesan National Ministries develop programs which are an indispensable means of reaching all people for Christ "with the word of God." In making a decision, one should keep in mind that the expenses of our Parish and the Church increase every year. In order to grow our ministries and meet our expenses, each Steward should strive to increase his or her pledge annually. We have a new service available to make things simpler for you! We now can offer you the option of Direct Deposit. Please visit our Saint Nicholas Parish website at: to download a form today! Please support all of our Saint Nicholas Ministries and fundraising efforts, and encourage others to do so as well. SCRIPS and EGGS With the EGGS program (Everybody Goes Grocery Shopping), you can get Busch s, Hillers and Kroger s rechargeable grocery cards to use for all your purchases, and our Saint Nicholas Church receives 5% of the purchase price at no cost to you or the Church! With the S.C.R.I.P. Program, you can buy gift cards at church to buy gifts (weddings, baptisms, graduations, anniversaries, birthday s, showers, etc ), clothing, gas, a dinner out, a movie, office supplies and much, more. Saint Nicholas receives from between 2% - 17% of the purchase, again, at no cost to you or the church! We have cards in stock, but we can order whatever you d like! For a complete list of retailers visit: TIME and TALENTS Getting involved with the Church both in your participation in ministries and offering your volunteer time as well as your talents to help further the Church's mission and ministries. Here at Saint Nicholas we have many great ministries, committees, worship services, classes and fellowship gatherings where you can spend
7 A message from Parish Council President Page 7 your time spiritually, helping others, in fellowship, and serving the needs of the parish and the community. We have people volunteering their time for many of these great works, but we need help from everyone so the burden doesn t fall on a few. The needs of the Church are growing as the number of parishioners grows, and we need many more stewards to come forward and offer their stewardship of time. Talents can be as simple as being an usher to organizing a fund-raiser. Maybe you can sing well or write well, or you can bake or cook well. Maybe you can organize or teach well. Whatever the talent, we are called by God to share them and each of us has many talents to share in the service of Saint Nicholas s parish and the community at large. Please support all of our Saint Nicholas Ministries and fundraising efforts, and encourage others to do so as well. FORGIVENESS AND LOVE The Lord said, "If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-21) Reconciliation in Christian theology is the enduring gift of God to believers and the Church s enduring mission to the world. It refers to a healing of division and the beginning of a process towards genuine communion of the whole creation with God, which finds expression in the communion of people with nature and each other. It addresses both personal and communal needs for healing, the restoration of broken social relationships and the relearning of how to live together in peace and mutual trust. In whatever ways the Church acts to bring about reconciliation, it enacts its deepest truth as the sacrament of Jesus Christ and fulfills its Christ-given mission to all people, believers and unbelievers alike. If you forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you (vv ). The triumph of sin, the main sign of its rule over the world, is division, opposition, separation, hatred. Therefore, the first break through this fortress of sin is forgiveness the return to unity, solidarity, love. To forgive is to put between me and my enemy the radiant forgiveness of God Himself. To forgive is to reject the hopeless dead-ends of human relations and to refer them to Christ. Forgiveness is truly a breakthrough of the Kingdom into this sinful and fallen world. God Bless. Christopher A. Bekiares Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church of Ann Arbor Parish Council President BELL RINGING FOR SALVATION ARMY The Philoptochos Community Care Ministry for December is ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. Our day is Wednesday, December 3 rd from 12:00 Noon to 9:00 p.m. at Macy s, Penney s Bush s (Main Street) and Krogers at Westgate. Please call Helen Garris at to sign up for this project.
8 Page 8 Η Θεία Λειτουργία ως Θεολογική Ιερουργία Page 8 Αρχιμ. Βασιλείου, Καθηγουμένου Ι. Μονής Ιβήρων «ημών σύμφωνος η γνώμη τη ευχαριστία και η ευχαριστία βεβαιοί την γνώμην» Άγιος Ειρηναίος, Ρ.G. 7,1028. «Μη τύπος αλλά πράγμα θυσίας η τελετή» (Καβάσιλα, Περί Θείας Λειτουργίας) Η Θεία Λειτουργία φθάνοντας στην αγία Αναφορά γίνεται μια καθολική δοξολογία: «Άξιον και δίκαιον Σε υμνείν, Σε ευλογείν, Σε αινείν, Σοι ευχαριστείν, Σε προσκυνείν». Μέσα στον αίνο τούτο και την ευχαριστία γνωρίζομε τη θεολογία, αποκαλύπτεται η κοσμογονία. Τίποτε δικό μας δεν έχομε. Αυτός μας δημιούργησε εκ του μη όντος. Παραπεσόντας μας ανέστησε. Έκαμε τα πάντα μέχρις ότου μας χάρισε τη μέλλουσα Βασιλεία Του. Αυτή η αίσθηση της ευγνωμοσύνης και η δοξολογία υπέρ πάντων ων, αποτελεί μια κλίμακα που μας ανάγει στον ουρανό, και μας κάνει να ακούμε τον τρισάγιο ύμνο: «Άγιος, Άγιος, Άγιος Κύριος Σαβαώθ...» Και ενώνονται οι φωνές μας και οι δοξολογίες μας προς το Θεό της αγάπης: «Μετά τούτων καί ημείς των μακαρίων δυνάμεων Δέσποτα φιλάνθρωπε βοώμεν και λέγομεν. Άγιος ει και Πανάγιος, Συ και ο μονογενής σου Υιός και το Πνεύμα σου το Άγιον. Άγιος ει και Πανάγιος και μεγαλοπρεπής η δόξα σου ος τον κόσμον Σου ούτως ηγάπησας, ώστε τον Υιόν σου τον μονογενή δούναι, ίνα πας ο πιστεύων εις αυτόν μη απόληται αλλ' έχη ζωήν αιώνιον». Η δόξα του Θεού φανερώνεται στην αγάπη, την κένωση. «Δι' υπερβολήν της ερωτικής αγαθότητος έξω εαυτού γίνεται...» (Διονύσιος Αρεοπαγίτης, P.G. 3, 712 ΑΒ). Το φως του προσώπου του δεν θαμπώνει αλλά φωτίζει. Η μεγαλοπρεπής του δόξα δεν εξουθενώνει τη μικρότητά μας, αλλά ανακουφίζει και σώζει: Είναι θεϊκή. Δεν μπορεί να μπλεχτή μέσα μας με τίποτε το ανθρώπινο. Δεν βλέπομε τη δόξα του Θεού - δεν μας την παρουσιάζει η Θεία Λειτουργία - στη μορφή του Παντοκράτορος, αλλά μας την αποκαλύπτει όπως φαίνεται στην πράξη της πατρικής προσφοράς και της θυσίας του Υιού. Στην έσχατη ταπείνωση του Δούλου τού Θεού. Όμοια και η αγιογραφία μας παρουσιάζει το Χριστό, κρεμάμενο γαλήνια στο ξύλο του Σταυρού. «Ίνα πας ο πιστεύων εις αυτόν μη απόληται αλλ' έχη ζωήν αιώνιον» (Ιω. 3, 16). Έτσι καθένας που γνωρίζει τον Κύριο λειτουργικά, όπως πράγματι είναι, και πιστεύει σ' αυτόν -Του εμπιστεύεται τη ζωή του - έχει ζωήν αιώνιον, ανώλεθρο. Τα πάντα αλλάζουν σ' αυτόν από τώρα. Δεν βασανίζεται από καμμιά ταραχή. Ήρεμα βαδίζει μετ' Αυτού επί των κυμάτων. Τα στοιχεία του κόσμου και οι απειλές αναβαίνουσιν έως των ουρανών και καταβαίνουσιν έως των αβύσσων και αυτός μένει αμετακίνητος στην ηρεμία, όντας ταυτόχρονα ευαίσθητος στο κάθε τί. Και η Θεία Λειτουργία συνεχίζεται.
9 «Ο ιερεύς εκφώνως: Λάβετε φάγετε τούτό μού εστι το Σώμα το υπέρ υμών κλώμενον εις άφεσιν αμαρτιών...πίετε εξ αυτού πάντες, τούτό εστι το Αίμά μου το της καινής Διαθήκης, το υπέρ υμών και πολλών εκχυνόμενον εις άφεσιν αμαρτιών. Ο λαός:αμήν». Βρισκόμαστε πνιγμένοι μέσα στις φανερές και αφανείς ευεργεσίες Tου. Κυριολεκτικά τα χάνομε μέσα σ' αυτό τον κατακλυσμό του ελέους και της αγάπης Του: προσφέρεται κλώμενος καί εκχυνόμενος σε μας. Δεν ξέρομε τι να κάνωμε. Δεν βρίσκομε τίποτε δικό μας, να Του δώσωμε σαν ευχαριστία «oυ γαρ εποιήσαμέν τι αγαθόν επί της γης». Γι' αυτό παίρνομε πάντα τα δικά Του και ευγνώμονα τα προσφέρομε: «Τα σα εκ των σων σοι προσφέρομεν κατά πάντα και διά πάντα». Αυτή η ολοκληρωτική λειτουργική αντιπροσφορά στον αεί σφαγιαζόμενο Κύριο - πράξη ευχαριστίας και ελευθερίας - αποτελεί το κέντρο του μυστηρίου, την πηγή του αγιασμού του ανθρώπου και των τιμίων δώρων. Αυτή η προσφορά μας απογυμνώνει απ' όλα, απολλύμεθα (Ματθ. 16,25). Παύομε να υπάρχωμε. Πεθαίνομε. Συγχρόνως είναι η στιγμή που γεννιώμαστε στή ζωή κοινωνούμε της θείας ζωής, με το να προσφέρωμε τα πάντα, με το να γίνωμε μια ευχαριστιακή προσφορά. Έτσι η απώλεια της ζωής μας είναι ταυτόχρονα ανάδυση της υπάρξεώς μας σε κόσμο «καινό και ασύνθετο» όπου παραγενόμενοι είμαστε αληθινά άνθρωποι. (Πρβλ. άγ. Ιγνάτιος, ΒΕΙΙ 2, 276). Μόνον όταν εξαρθρωθή τελείως ο άνθρωπος και ξανάρθη στην ύπαρξη από άλλη Δύναμη, μπορεί να νοιώση τι είναι ζωή «oς αν απολέση ούτος ευρήσει» (Ματθ. 16, 25). Ήδη με την εμπειρία αυτή του «σοι προσφέρομεν κατά πάντα και διά πάντα» κοινωνούμε της καινής ζωής που είναι προσφορά, κένωση. Όλα εδώ υπάρχουν. Βρίσκει καθένας τον Κύριο που είναι το Α και το Ω. Είναι όλα παρόντα, συγκεκραμένα στο φως του προσώπου Του και το γλυκασμό της αυτού ωραιότητος. Στη στιγμή χωρά η αιωνιότης. Σ'έναν Άγιο μαργαρίτη όλος ο Παράδεισος, ο Χριστός. «Αινούμεν, ευλογούμεν και δεόμεθα». Όλες οι προσευχές γίνονται μία, τη στιγμή που πεθαίνομε πραγματικά και ζούμε. «Tov θάνατον του Κυρίου καταγγέλλομεν και την ανάστασιν Αυτού ομολογούμεν» (Α' Κορ. 11, 26). Το χώρο που κένωσε η προσφορά (ταπείνωση - ευχαριστία) κατέρχεται και πληροί το Άγιο Πνεύμα. Η ζωή μέσα στη Θεία Λειτουργία είναι σβήσιμο ενσυνείδητο και ολοκληρωτικό, γι' αυτό είναι και αγκάλιασμα ενός μυστηρίου που μας ξεπερνά. Είναι κόπος και ανάπαυση. Είναι θάνατος και ζωή. Πιστεύεις ότι υπάρχει Θεός γιατί σε κρατά στα ζωντανά Του χέρια. Σε δημιουργεί, σε πλάθει. Αυτός εκ του μη όντος εις το είναι μας παρήγαγε» και μας παράγει. H δωρεά της χάριτός Του είναι σημαντικώτερο γεγονός και μεγαλύτερη έκπληξη απ' ό,τι η αρχική μας γεννηση. 9
10 Και ενώ ήδη όλα μας χαρίστηκαν, και τα μέλλοντα, νοιώθει κανείς ότι ακόμη όλα τα περιμένουμε. Όλα είναι ατέλειωτα, γιατί όλα είναι αληθινά. Όλα δόθηκαν, και όλα έρχονται ακατάπαυστα καινούργια. Το πόσο αληθινή είναι η Θεία Λειτονργία μας το αποκαλύπτει η ίδια η φυσιολογία της πνευματικής ζωής: «καρδίαν συντετριμμένην καί τεταπεινωμένην ο Θεός ουκ εξουδενώσει». Εγκαταλείποντας κανείς τα πάντα στο Θεό, φτάνοντας στην τελική συντριβή και ταπείνωση, δέχεται κατά φυσική λειτουργία των πνευματικών νόμων τη χάρη του Θεού. Και στη Θεία Λειτουργία, μετά άπ' όλη την ευχαριστιακή αναφορά και την κατά πάντα και διά πάντα προσφορά στο Θεο, παρακαλούμε, δεόμεθα και ικετεύομε να έλθη το Πνεύμα το Άγιον εφ' ημάς. Το ίδιο Πνεύμα ζωής διοργανώνει, πλάθει, ορίζει την ευχαριστιακή λειτουργία και τη διάρθρωση του ανθρωπίνου είναι μας. Γι' αυτό ο άνθρωπος όντας μέσα στη Λειτουργία, βρίσκεται στο κλίμα του, που μπορεί να ευδοκιμήση. Στην πατρίδα του, που τα πάντα είναι γνώριμα και οικεία. Μιλιέται η γλώσσα του η μητρική. Ο Θεός έπλασε τον άνθρωπο κατ' εικόνα ιδική Του και ομοίωση. Ο Κύριος «της λειτουργικής ταύτης και αναιμάκτου θυσίας την ιερουργίαν παρέδωκεν ημίν». Και η μία (η εσωτερική οργάνωση του ανθρώπου) και η άλλη (η λειτουργική θυσία) από το Θεό παραδίδονται. Η πορεία της θυσίας - η πολιτεία της υπακοής του Υιού του Θεού - αποκαλύπτει στη Θεία Λειτουργία την τριαδική ζωή και χάρη. Και έτσι αποκαλύπτει στον άνθρωπο ιερουργικά την αλήθεια της φύσεως του και τού δείχνει το δρομο της ελευθερίας. Τη δυνατότητα της αναλήψεως και θεώσεώς του.
11 Seniors Page 11
12 Page 12 The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom Page Page The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom consists of readings from the Scriptures and of solemn hymns and prayers. Its spoken words are chanted by the priest and sung by the "people", who are now replaced by the cantor or the choir. Besides the spoken words, the main part of the Liturgy is read inaudibly by the priest, a custom which now prevails. It is a matter of fact that most of the "exaltations" of the priest are the ends of the prayers inaudibly read, and have not a complete meaning apart from the prayers. It is to be remembered that the Divine Liturgy is offered to enact the Holy Eucharist. Eucharist, from the Greek verb, Eucharistein, and the noun, Eucharistia, has not only the meaning of thanksgiving but, more so, that of sacrifice. Whenever Holy Communion is offered, the partaking by all the faithful is intended. As a prelude there are petitions, Bible readings, exhortations and the confession. They open the awesome drama in which all the faithful participate. This participation includes singing, reading, listening, some gestures and the par taking of Holy Communion. The following is a diagram of the Divine Liturgy :Beginning: The Liturgy starts with a blessing of the Kingdom of God, which includes the Sacred Body of Christ on earth; His Church. Petitions: They are small prayers which the priest offers especially for the peace of the world, with the people responding, "Kyrie eleison"; Lord, have mercy. Antiphons: These are readings from the Old Testament, especially from Psalms 102 and 145, with refrains of Christian meanings and specifically references to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Entry with the Gospel: This entry represents the ancient practice when the priest took the Gospel by the light of torches from the crypt, an underground safeguard to protect the Gospel from destruction by the pagans, bringing it up to the Church. The priest lifts up the Gospel and exclaims: "Wisdom," which means Christ, and calls the people to worship and bow down to Christ. Trisagion: A short prayer praising the Holiness of God. Readings from the New Testament: (1) A part of the Book of Acts or the Epistles of the Apostles read by the reader. (2) Another section from the Gospels read by the priest. (The specific sections read are determined by the Church and are the same every year.) Sermon: It is incorporated as an exhortation from the priest to the people on the Good News of salvation. (The part of the service for the Catechumens is now omitted). Cherubic Hymn and Entry with the Holy Gifts: This is a procession with the yet unsanctified Species taken from the table of Preparation and brought to the Altar during which the Cherubic hymn is sung: "Let us put away all worldly care so that we may receive the King of all." (An addition made in the 9th century) Ectenia of the Oblation: They are small prayers completing "our supplications to the Lord". To these supplications the people respond, "Grant this, O Lord". The Prayer of Oblation is now inaudibly read by the Priest saying: "Enable us to offer to Thee gifts and spiritual sacrifices for our sins." A Short Creed: This is a proclamation of the Holy Trinity in connection with brotherhood. It is chanted now before the Nicene Creed. Creed: This is the concise and accurate confession of the Christian faith in 12 articles formulated by 1st, 2nd Ecumenical Synod at Nicaea in 325 A.D. (The Nicene Creed is recited during every Liturgy, an addition made in the 9th century; prior to that time it was recited only during the Liturgy at Easter).
13 Prayer of Sanctification: It includes dialogues of excerpts from the long prayer of sanctification which is now read inaudibly by the priest and which, in fact, is the very heart of the significance of the Divine Liturgy. The dialogues start with the offering of the Oblation (the Species, Bread and Wine), continues with blessings and the actual words of the Lord, "this is my body... this is my blood," and climax in the sanctification of the Species. Now the Bread and Wine are lifted by the priest, who exclaims, "Thine own of Thine own we offer to Thee, O Lord." At this time, generally the people kneel, and the choir sings: "We praise thee... we give thanks to thee, O Lord". In continuation, the priest commemorates the Saints and especially the Virgin Mary, as well as the faithful ones. Petitions: These are small prayers referring to the spiritual welfare of the city, the nation, the Church and the individual. Prayers before Holy Communion and Partaking of the Holy Gifts by the Priest: Now the doors of the Altar are generally closed and the priest partakes of the Holy Gifts separately and then combines both Elements into the Chalice; a later practice of the Church. Holy Communion: Both the Holy Body and Precious Blood of Christ, combined in the Chalice, are given to the prepared faithful when the priest calls them to "draw near with reverence." In ancient times the Holy Gifts were given to the faithful separately, first the Body and then the Cup, from which the faithful drank in turn, as is the continued practice for the clergymen today. Thanksgiving Prayers: These are prayers of gratitude to Almighty God for the privilege which is given to the faithful to commune with Him. Lord's Prayer: It is recited by the people; the priest follows it with the exaltation. Breaking the Lamb: At this point the priest elevates the Lamb (the consecrated Bread) saying: "The Holy things for those who are holy," and breaks it in commemoration of the actual Eucharist. Also at this time the priest pours warm water, zeon, into the Chalice, a reminiscence of the very primitive Church (see, Justin the Martyr). Dismissal Hymn: The priest calls the people to depart with a prayer by which he asks the Lord to "save Thy people and bless Thine inheritance." In conclusion he blesses the people, saying, "May the blessing of the Lord come upon you." The people seal the Liturgy by responding, "Amen." Blessed bread, antithoron, which means "instead of the Gift," is given to all at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy.
14 Page 14 Church School By now the Church School students have acclimated themselves to their new routine and are busy learning the curriculum and requirements necessary for this year. The teachers are doing a remarkable job keeping the children engaged and focused on our Orthodox beliefs/education. Please note, if you have not registered your child for Church School, it is not too late. The St. Nicholas Parish Harvest Party was a great success. Many families came out to enjoy an evening filled with games, refreshments and treats, decorating and carving pumpkins, a hay ride, a bonfire or just the opportunity to share a fun filled evening with family and friends. The pumpkin carving contest was also a success as each entry was awarded the Best of in their own unique category which were made by very talented parishioners. Our Annual Parish Harvest Party Family Night would not have been success if it weren t for the help and support of the volunteers, for all the St. Nicholas families to enjoy; Stokes family (hay ride), Toni Mihalopoulos, Dani and Amira Nadra, Christine Apostoleris and Rob Ashley (pumpkin judges), Adrian Radbata, Sandra and Nicholas Cvercko, Paul Vallis, Vious and Christina Pagalos, Christina Vlahopoulos and Tom Romanis (Door decorations), Liz Bairactairis, Stella Wixom, Sophia Radwanski, Chaconas family, Athena Papageorgiou, Kosta Vrahnos, George Bairactaris (bonfire) and Fr. Nick. We are truly blessed and thankful for their time and assistance November is just around the corner and it is that time of year where American families begin to prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday. Unfortunately, there are many families that can not celebrate the holidays because they are not able to provide food for their families. The St. Nicholas Church School department has been helping families for the past few years through the St. Nicholas Children s Thanksgiving Project by donating food. From now until Sun. Nov. 23 rd, the children are asked to help by donating the food item assigned to their class. More information will be sent home with your child regarding the Children s Thanksgiving Project. Also in November, the children will begin to prepare for the Parish Oratorical Festival which is scheduled for Sunday March 15, They will be given a list of topics appropriate for their grade level, (grades 7 to 12) from which they will choose a topic to write and present their essay at the festival. The children from preschool to 6 th grade will have topics from their teachers to choose from. The younger children will draw pictures with or without words and the older children will write a short paper and present it to their class. This will help prepare the children when they reach the 7 th grade and to better understand the process. Please help your child to participate in this event and give them your support. We are fortunate to have Mrs. Vicki Kiningham again as the chairperson for the Parish Oratorical Festival, along with the 7 th to 12 grade teachers. More information will follow. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact any teacher, Vicki Kiningham or Susan Pagalos.